Sprint Triathlon Training: My Improbable Adventure

Well friends, I’ve finally done it.  I’ve begun training for a sprint triathlon.  I know how crazy that sounds.  Just the word triathlon used to conjure up images of torture and insanity in my mind.  But now it sounds like an exciting challenge.  This isn’t the first time I’ve had this crazy idea though.

A little background

A couple of years ago, the Mister mentioned that he might like to try a triathlon.  We had just bought my first road bike and we were riding several times a week.  He already loved to swim and didn’t mind running, so he thought it would be a good challenge.  He bought a few books and looked up training plans, and I have to admit, the thought interested me.  I knew I wanted to be in better shape and really enjoyed cycling and swimming.  The running scared me, but I had run a 5K before, so I knew I had the ability to run.

At this point, I had no idea that there were different kinds of triathlons.  All I had ever seen was the Iron Man in Hawaii that they show on TV every year.  That looked like death wrapped in an open water swim, crazy bike ride and more running than I ever want to do in my life.  Ever.  I knew I wouldn’t want to be part of something like that, so I dismissed it.

Enter the sprint triathlon: a half mile swim (750 meters), a 12 mile bike ride and a 5K run.  This seemed doable to me.  While I’m not a great swimmer, I was on a summer swim team for a few years in middle school, so I know the basics of swimming and racing.  We were already riding at least 12 miles on our bikes rides, so I wasn’t concerned at all about the biking portion of the race.  But then there was the 5K run.  I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a runner, but I had run a 5K before and I knew that if I trained I could do it again.

Sprint Triathlon Training: My Improbable Adventure

A screeching halt

So I printed off a training guide that I thought I could work with and made a plan to start training the following week.  Life has a funny way of messing up your plans sometimes, because a few days later I found out I was pregnant and all of my training went out the window.  Looking back, it didn’t have to, but I let the fact that I was SO TIRED get in my way.  I was also banned from my bike by my loving health professional of a husband, so I figured there was no way I could train anyway.  Not that I really wanted to anymore.

Instead, I ate a lot of ice cream and mini donuts and sat on the couch a lot and took more naps than I can count (I had quit teaching just a few months before, so I was home with nothing else to do).  In all of that ice cream and donut eating, as well as the sitting, I gained a whopping 50 something pounds and ended up in the worst shape of my life.

Thinking BIG

I’ve spent the last 17 months trying to lose the weight (kind of, but not seriously) and making excuses for why a sprint triathlon isn’t in the cards for me.  That is, until a couple of weeks ago.  I came to the realization that I never push myself to do hard things.  It’s much easier to make excuses and doubt my abilities.  It’s safer just to sit back and let others do the big things and make big changes in their lives.

Finally I asked myself, “Why not me?”  This is something that’s been in the back of my mind for a few years now.  Why am I not pushing myself to try and reach this goal?  Because I’m scared I’ll fail and give up on myself yet again.  That’s why.  And that’s no way to live my life.

So I pulled out my computer and searched for sprint triathlon training plans on Pinterest.  I found a training plan titled “Triathamom” and clicked the link.  Apparently there’s a sprint triathlon every year in Utah for moms.  I looked over the website and got excited.  I watched the video and cried.  I’m not typically one to cry, but watching these moms- people like ME, doing something that I never fully thought was possible was so powerful to me.  These women aren’t all-star athletes.  They’re moms.  Some of them walked part of the 5K, or had to take a break during the bike ride and that was ok, because they were still competing in a sprint triathlon.

After being completely inspired, I took a good, long look at the training schedule and tried to figure out how to make it work for me.  The program is 13 weeks long, so I pulled out my calendar and marked March 6th.  That’s more than 13 weeks from now, but I’m giving myself a little grace period because life happens.  In fact, I was supposed to start training last week, but Little Miss quit sleeping and then all of us got a nasty head cold, so my training was put on hold.

Sprint Triathlon Training: My Improbable Adventure | Story of an out of shape mom dreaming big and training hard

My sprint triathlon plan

I’m not planning on traveling to Utah (at least not this year) to compete, but I think that would be so fun to do in the future!  But sometime before March 6, 2017, I am going to finish an indoor sprint triathlon at our gym.  I can swim in the pool, make a quick change and then hustle upstairs to jump on a stationary bike and run on the treadmill.

I am filled with a mixture of excitement and trepidation.  There’s also a little bit of questioning my sanity in there too, but we’ll ignore that part.  I’m excited because I’ve never done something like this before.  And I’m scared out of my mind because I’ve never done something like this before.  Training for a 5K was a huge feat for me, but this seems so much bigger.  I have a great support system, though, and I know they will push and encourage me through it.

So you might be curious why I am posting this.  I have three reasons.  The first is to keep myself accountable, kind of like my monthly health check-ins.  I’m going to post regularly throughout my training.  I’ll post about the ups and downs of training for a sprint triathlon and keep track of my progress.  That leads me to my second reason- selfishly I want to be able to look back and reflect on my mindset and progress while going after such a huge goal.

My third reason is the biggest.  I hope that by telling my story of thinking big and working hard, I can inspire someone else to do the same.  That may be a triathlon or it might be something completely different.  I just want to show people that we can either let fear hold us back or we can face it head-on and make our “dreams” and “somedays” into realities right now.

I’ve told myself that I can’t do it for long enough and now I’m out to prove that I can.Click To Tweet

Do you have a big dream that you’d love to accomplish?  What’s holding you back?  If you need accountability, post it in the comments and I will be more than happy to help you along to achieving your goals!

Sprint Triathlon Training: My Improbable Adventure | Story of an out of shape mom dreaming big and training hard

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